Surviving Cold and Flu Season at Uni – Part 1

Through the winter months, wherever you decide to go to uni (unless it’s somewhere sunny like Australia) you will inevitably come across someone with a cold, who- with just one ill times sneeze- can pass all of their germs onto you. This merry-go-round of bugs is especially heightened at uni, because you will be interacting with new people all of the time from all  around the country and some further afield that will all bring different kinds of winter flu and cold that your body hasn’t encountered before. It may well also be your first time being ill away from home, so things might seem a bit daunting without mum around to check up on you every few hours and feed you dry toast.

But don’t fear, as I have complied a list of a few little tricks to help to avoid being caught by the bugs in the first place, and part 2 will be about how to cope when you do have them!

1- Flu Jab.

Along with the highly recommended and pretty much essential meningitis vaccination you will be offered prior to starting uni, you can also request to have the flu jab. Some people will be even able to get it for free, depending on conditions such as asthma. Even if you’re not legible for the free jab, it’s well worth the few pennies you’ll pay and can help you avoid the flu during the colder months.

2- Vitamins

Now, I’m going to sound like my mum here, but hear me out. Taking a daily vitamin supplement can be great in the fight against germs as it will give your body the best possible defences for keeping you healthy. You may also find that taking vitamins daily will help improve your energy levels and general all round health and well-being.  Vitamins come in all shapes and forms, and you do not have to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. You can get vitamins to swallow with water, to chew, or to dissolve in a drink, depending on your preference- there’s even a pretty good range in poundland!

Vitamins and minerals can also be obtained naturally by eating more fruit and veg, rather than just instant noodles and microwavable meals!

3- Staying Warm

Although an alcohol blanket may feel like enough to keep you warm on a night out, it actually doesn’t do much good for your immune system. On nights out, try taking a small jacket or scarf with you that can fold up into a bag for once you’re out. If even that doesn’t sound like you- avoid walking long distances in the cold without an outer layer, especially if it’s raining.

Secondly in staying warm, if you live off campus, it might be worth investing a little more money in keeping your place warmer over winter, or making use of lots of woolly jumpers and hot water bottles, as there’s nothing worse than coming in from a long day at uni to a cold home.

That’s all for now, but if this post has come a little too late for some and you’re already suffering, look out for my next as it will be based around surviving a cold at uni.

 

Learning to drive at Edge Hill – Parking permits add 20 horsepower to your car

Theory Test bookley


Learning to drive is one of the most rewarding experiences that you will undertake as a young adult, it gives you the freedom to go wherever you want. Even if you only want to go to Toby Carvery for lunch it is still freedom and nothing compares to it. You may have already started to learn in another country, or you may even have a full license in your name, but there are strict rules regarding driving in the UK so it is best to prepare before you arrive.


Irish Driving LicenseBefore we begin it is important to note a few things. If you have a provisional license held in another country it is not valid. If hold a full driving license you must transfer your license to a UK license within 3 years of moving.

You can find out more information about transferring your license here. If you have a provisional you must apply for a new provisional issued within the United Kingdom.


The first step towards driving in the UK is understanding the procedure for getting a driving license. It is a simple affair, usually an online form. You can access the form here and find out if you qualify to apply online. It will cost you £34. Once you apply online you will issued with a paper form where you complete some paperwork, signature, picture for the license and the like, and finally you return it to DVLA , Swansea, SA99 1AD. After a few weeks, if successful, you will be returned with a shiny new green license!


Theory Test bookleyIts time to move own now to your first lessons and your theory test. You can use the official government instructor search here. I found one relatively close to me with good reviews called Owen, and messaged him. He got back to me and we organized to go on our first lesson.


The Theory Test is next. Your instructor will guide you further on this and ensure that you are ready when you travel to the nearest center (Southport) to take this 50 question test along side the hazard perception element. My instructor gave me access to some software to help me revise but you might want to consider the official review material that can be found here. Once you are ready you can book it here for £23 and our nearest test center to Edge Hill is located in Southport. You can catch a bus right from Ormskirk there and back. The UK theory takes about half an hour, although some longer or shorter, and contains 50 multiple choice questions as well as a selection of ‘Hazard Perception’ videos that require you to click when there is a hazard. Its good to ask your instructor questions about these if you are unsure about any section.


Finally it is on to your driving test. Once you have completed your theory test you will receive your theory test certificate. Hold onto this, you will need to bring it with you to the test. Most instructors in Ormskirk recommend the Southport driving test center. Your instructor will let you know when you are ready to book your test, and also how much he will charge for the use of his car for the test. You can book your test when ready here.Make sure to ask your instructor to go through a mock test if he has not shown you the format already. Once you are prepped and ready, head out and best of luck.


You should now have all the knowledge you need to get out there and get your license, learning to drive in the UK. However, there are a few tips that you might find useful along side all this.

  • If you drive in N. Ireland on a provisional the limit is 45 mph
  • You must be insured to drive. This can be expensive if you under 25.
  • You cant drive on motorways with a provisional license.
  • The speed is in miles per hour, not kilometers. Remember that 100 kph is 62 mph not 60.
  • You can use your provisional to apply for a bike theory test and drive low power bikes without a full license.
  • Unlike N. Ireland ‘R’ plates do not exist. There are optional ‘P’ plates however.
  • Don’t forget to apply for a parking permit to park on campus also! (It adds 20 horsepower to your car)

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Meeting New People at University

I don’t know about you, but before coming to University one of my main worries was ‘making friends.’ Where will I meet new people? What if I don’t fit in? How do I introduce myself? Well…here’s some tips.

Be Yourself

First impressions are important. But if you’re not yourself, what is the point? You’ll only start to feel comfortable around others if they like you for who you are, and not something you’re not. That way, you’ll gradually learn about one another’s common interests which could lead to a close friendship.

Worry Less About Social Media

I was also added to the group chats before coming to university – one for the course and another for the accommodation. It was really useful to get the chance to introduce yourself and ask any questions. However,  I wouldn’t worry too much about talking to everyone over Facebook beforehand, because you’ll have nothing to talk about on your first day! (plus, talking in person is better than over social media – ironic that I’m talking about this over the internet but you get the gist).

Keep Calm and Carry On

Just remember…everybody is in the same boat, so they are just as nervous as you are! For that reason, just take one day at a time and talk to everybody you meet. With time, you’ll realise who you’ll get on really well with.

Grasp All Opportunities

You’ll have the chance to meet new people through many ways; societies, lectures and going out. Grab any opportunity you can, not only to meet new people but for yourself too.

Don’t Judge

Be open-minded and accept everybody for who they are. Listen to others and learn from the people around you.

 

I hope these few tips will help you feel less overwhelmed. Feel free to ask me any questions below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Preparing for continuous assessment at Edge Hill – You won’t have to cram the night before!


If you are a student of an education system that relies on exams for assessment you may have never even come across the term ‘Continuous Assessment’. This method of assessment is commonly used in courses throughout Edge Hill University so it is a good idea to get to know what it is and practice before you start under this type of education.


Continuous Assessment is the practice of giving you a grade based on your coursework that is submitted over the length of your course. For example you may be given an assignment every week for two months, each representing a certain percentage of your final grade. This means that you are already stacking up points towards your grade as soon as you submit work. Meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering everything at once on one particular day. If you are already prepared for this type of assessment you will slip right into the swing of things. However if you, like me, are from an education background where everything is based on exams it might take some time to adjust.


Clock with time on notepadTime management is a very important aspect of this method of study. If you don’t manage your time correctly you will miss deadlines. Unlike missing your homework, missing your deadline for coursework results in your grade being affected. You have to manage your time well in order to maximize your grade.


Notes on a4 paperKeeping notes simple and brief is also important. Unlike taking notes for something that you will not review for weeks, months or even years, continuous assessment is set on a much shorter time range. Your notes should be short but clear so that you get everything down and quickly refer to them later. Your brain will do most of the work remembering.


Concept lifestyle image of balance.Balance is possibly the most important. You need to make time and put the same amount of effort into all your coursework. You will like some more than others, and as such its easy to dismiss pieces you don’t want to complete. Work hard at it and keep your head down. Remember, it is your grade at stake.

 


Follow these steps and try to practice these skills in your every day life. A good example is taking homework as serious as your exams for a week or two to get used to putting your best into something on a weekly basis.

While not all courses at Edge Hill are fully coursework based most have elements of continuous assessment. Remember to prepare for any exams you might have also.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

In Knowledge There is Opportunity

Hello again!

As we will be celebrating 100 years of votes for women in 2018, Edge Hill University is putting on a number of exciting events to commemorate this. For those that didn’t know, Edge Hill’s colours of purple and green reflect those of the Suffragette movement, signifying the University’s commitment to the equality of women and recognising its foundations as a women-only college back in 1885. The University aims to create a space for you to ask any questions to find out what more can be done to promote diversity and equality.

‘Wonder Women: 100 years of women’s suffrage,’ will celebrate the individuals who have made positive impacts on our voting system. Below is an example of free events that Edge Hill are putting on where all students are welcome!

Thursday 25th January

The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow will give a lecture, discussing his input with the Government’s Vote 100 project.

Wednesday 28th February

Mary and Bryan Talbot will present a lecture on their novel, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette. It will finish with a screening of the eye-opening movie, Suffragette. Suffragette tells the powerful story about the women who were willing to lose everything for equality and the right to vote.

17th May – 17th June 

This year’s festival will be centred around the theme of ‘Equalities.’ There are also plans to build a Suffrage Garden to mark the University’s involvement in the history of the Suffragist movement.

For a more detailed schedule about the upcoming events, you can click here

Thank you for reading. Have a great week and speak soon!

Assignment Writing Tips!

Happy new year!

Now I am back at university, I have a lot of coursework ahead of me…yey! Writing assignments can be a difficult task for everyone and it is often hard to know where to start. Here are a few handy tips I wish I knew as a fresher…

  1. Visit the library 
Edge Hill Library

After reading all of the notes provided by your tutors, you should have a clear picture of what the assignment question wants from you. Edge Hill’s library is stocked with thousands of books and journals for every course. By accessing the online library system, you can search for any specific books appropriate for your assignment question. The library codes provided will then allow you to easily find your book. They are automatically renewed every 2 weeks, unless it is reserved by other students. However, if you know a lot of students are also searching for similar topics, I advise you reserve them in advance! I really recommend referring to books or journals when writing assignments because websites are often unreliable. Although, Google Scholar is a useful tool to use.

2. Plan, plan, plan!

An obvious aspect which is important for writing assignments is the planning involved. I find it difficult to start writing without an initial outline. Even if it is a small or messy plan, it is necessary to have something to guide you and jot down your ideas. I usually take the time to gather any queries I may have to ask the appropriate tutor. However, there is usually all the information you need available on Black Board.

  1. Take breaks

Often, the most difficut part of writing an essay is thinking about how to start it. I find that once you get started, you begin to feel more confident. BUT, remember to have breaks. It depends on the person, but I personally cannot work hours straight without procrastinating! Grab a coffee, phone a friend or get some fresh air.

  1. Proof-read

I cannot stress enough how important it is to proof-read. A simple spelling mistake can affect your mark based on the grading criteria. It took me a long time after submission to realise I wrote ‘practioners’ instead of ‘practitioners’ 10 times in one essay. Try to proof-read when you’re not too tired because that is when mistakes can be easily looked over!

  1. Take advantage of Edge Hill’s resources

Edge Hill offer a wide range of student support including help with academia. Uni Skills hold regular workshops to advise on academic writing, as well as organising one-to-one support. These learning services are always there, so don’t panic and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I hope these few tips will be useful to you and I wish you the best of luck for your coursework and exams! Feel free to ask any questions, until next time! 🙂

Sean’s Random Encounters – Ormskirk Bus Station

Seans Random Encounters Text


This is a new format I am trying out, aptly named ‘Sean’s Random Encounters’. Its my job here as a blogger to give you information, making your life easier when you arrive here in September. There is, however, only so many things that I can think of to write about. Luckily there is about fifteen thousand students here than can lend me a hand and that is exactly what this blog is going to be about. I’m going to interview random students, randomly of course, and find out things like ‘Did you have a course you wanted to do from day one or did you change along the way’ or ‘Whats the best thing about Edge Hill’. So here it is, the first of Sean’s Random Encounters.


Edge Hill Bus StationWhile walking down through the Ormskirk Bus Station I noticed two students sitting on the bench near the EdgeLink stop (Read more about traveling to Orksmirk here). The question I put to both of them was this: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before you started university what would it be? Now for the life of me I cannot remember their names (I will write them down next time) so if you are reading this and I spoke to you leave a comment and ill give you a mention!


‘Making friends is easier than I thought’

As we got talking one strong message that came up from the first year students was that making friends was easier than imagined. I asked a few more questions about how they started to socialize and meet people after moving to the university.

‘When I moved into my flat with 7 others they all felt the same way. Slowly after everyone’s parents had left we sat in the kitchen. I mean sure, we talked on the Facebook group chat before but it was still awkward meeting for the first time’ he said ‘but it got heaps easier when we got talking.’

He also mentioned the Students Union, Hub and meeting friends of friends.

‘So me and a few flat mates went to the SU and met with some of the people that they had known before university. Again awkward but because everything was going so fast on welcome Sunday we were all a little bit more out there anyway’

And at that the EL1 bus came and be parted ways.


Some great points were made here. Flatmates are people you will see almost every day so its worth befriending them. And they can even introduce you to friends that they have. Clubs, Societies and your own Course are great places to meet friends. You already have a mutual interests most likely! But there are so many ways that you couldn’t write them all down if you tried. The point is this; making friends is easy at university. So if you are stressing out over it, don’t. Everyone is on the same level as you and if you spark up a conversation anywhere from Aldi to Alpine or Bar to Bus you will find someone who is dying to talk back.


I hope you have enjoyed this blog and its new format. If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Three New Years Resolutions as a Student

With the first semester over and assignments all submitted I found myself thinking about what New Years Resolutions would be good to have over the next year as a student. So here’s 3 resolutions that you could try, all of which would be great for any student and are easy to complete here at Edge Hill.

1. Look after your mental health
Keeping healthy extends further than your physical health. There are so many ways to look after your mental health here at Edge Hill and it is so important to find ways that work for you to keep you as happy, calm and as stress free as possible. Over the next few weeks there are loads of Give it a Go sessions which can help you do just that. From a visit from the Guide dogs to an afternoon of crafts. Check out the full list of activities here. If you feel like you would like some support then the team in Student Services would be more than happy to help too.

2. Be prepared for the semester ahead
Getting organised can save you lots of time throughout the semester. I find it helpful to keep my diary up to date and to have a folder for each of my modules. I use a laptop to type up my notes after each lecture and seminar so that all of my notes are in the same place when it comes to completing assignments. There are many ways to get organised, from checking that you know when your lectures start again and which room they are in to doing some reading to get yourself back into the routine of studying after a long Christmas break. If you would like any advice about becoming more organised why not arrange a meeting with your personal tutor or speak to someone in Student Services. The team are very friendly and approachable and will help with any questions or queries you may have.

3. Try out a new sport/exercise or society
The Sports Centre at Edge Hill has so many amazing opportunities for both students and members of the community. There are membership options to suit all budgets and why not take advantage of the latest offer from the Students’ Union too. If you’d like to try something new why not join a new club or society, many can be found here on the Students’ Union website.

Please do share any resolutions you have in the comments below, would be great to hear your ideas of what you are doing over the next Semester too.

Your First Year at Edge Hill University

Hello lovely people!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and you’re enjoying your holidays! With New Year’s coming up, it is a good time to reflect on my 2017. Earlier this year I finished my first year of Primary Education – I am no longer a fresher! So, I am going to share with you what I miss most about my first year of university.

My favourite things about first year:

 1. Exploring Ormskirk and the university’s campus

First year of university is special for everyone no matter where they are based. I miss first year because everything was new, including the places to visit and things to do. However, there are still hidden gems which I am still discovering!

2. Meeting new people

Although it was a scary thought of living somewhere with no familiarity, it was wonderful meeting new people with different backgrounds and cultures. First year allows you to meet the friends that you feel like you have known your whole life.

3. Going out (most nights)

Yes…first year of university does involve a lot of hard work. HOWEVER, after entering my second year, I realise how great it was to be able to go out multiple times a week. First year is definitely the opportunity to have a good balance of work and play (with more emphasis on the play).

4. Independence

Since many students’ first year of university is their first time living away from home, it allows you to have that extra independence. Making decisions off your own bat is liberating! (Sorry mum and dad 🙂 )

 

If you are hoping to come to Edge Hill next year and would like to look around the campus, there are tours taking place every month! You can click here to book a place.

I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the New Year! See you in 2018!

It’s Christmas! 6 Winter ways to relax

Merry Christmas to you all- and to those who don’t celebrate- I hope you’re having a wondeful winter break!

Following on from last weeks blog on wellbeing (linked here), this week is all about ways to take a step back and chill out over the break – wether you’re on or off campus.

1. Layer up and go for a walk- you’ll see some pretty sights, and it counts as exercise for the day! (If on campus, I recommend taking a stroll around the lakes and saying hello to the ducks!)

2. Read a book- and not a text book! Take some time out to cozy up and immerse yourself in a good story. Libraries on and off campus are a great place to discover something new.

Christmas tree in the SU shop

3. Meet up with friends old and new. Share stories of the first few months of the academic year- show off your Edge Hill merch and exchange gifts.

Flat mates that buy you Edge Hill Christmas jumpers are keepers

4. Have a bath! If you’ve come home from shower-only halls, coming home to a house with a bath feels like the biggest luxury. Grab yourself a bath bomb and soak away!

5. Food! Christmas time means there will be all sorts of food to go around- and it certainly makes a change from a student diet of instant noodles, pasta and toast!

6. Get any course work done early. There’s nothing worse than trying to relax with the weight of unfinished assignments hanging over your head. Knuckle down and get them done so you can have a guilt-free rest of the break! For those of you with exams coming up in January- make yourself a time table of what you’re doing over Christmas- and slot in time to revise and stick to it, so you can feel prepared and not be worrying when you should be enjoying time with family and friends. 

For other tips and takes on the Christmas period at Edge Hill, see Anna and Ellie’s blogs about celebrating Hanukkah at uni and tips for studying over the break.

That’s all from me for now, I hope you all have a wonderful day and rest of the break!